This activity is like putting together a puzzle as students create sentences to describe the pictures. They build Spanish sentences using three words by choosing a word of each color to construct the sentence. You can download two free versions of the activity below.
Activities to Build Spanish Sentences
I do a variety of Spanish sentence building activities with beginning readers. For example, we do Spanish sentence building games and sentence building activities like these with house vocabulary. Also, Spanish Sentence Building:3-Word Sentences is an activity like this one, using different pictures and vocabulary.
Of course, the most important thing beginning readers can do is read! Activities like this are fun, but to develop language skills kids need to read lots of language in context. To learn more about learning to read in Spanish, see Early Literary Instruction in Spanish from Colorín Colorado.
Also, be sure to check out our Spanish reading for kids page for all our reading resources.
Build Spanish Sentences with 3 Words
With this activity, students build Spanish sentences given a set of words and pictures. The vocabulary is familiar, so students understand the nouns and verbs when they read and hear them, and they can associate them with the pictures.
There are lots of ways to structure sentence building. You can put words in columns on the board, or you can put words on colored cards. I made this printable so that students could work in pairs as they build Spanish sentences and write them out.
As students build Spanish sentences, they become aware of grammatical patterns. Although I don’t teach grammar explicitly in the lower grades, I do take the opportunity to point out patterns. In this case, I mention the gender and number of the article and the singular or plural form of the verb.
Because I’m working with novice learners, I include pictures to support the meaning of the words. However, you can make a similar Spanish sentence building activity without the pictures. In that case, you can ask students to build sentences and then illustrate them.
Build Longer Spanish Sentences
Students can build sentences with more words if you add objects, adjectives, and prepositional phrases. Of course, Spanish has flexible word order, so you may need to accept several answers or indicate first and final words with capital letters and punctuation.
I have another version of this activity where students build longer Spanish sentences. However, I simply added additional familiar vocabulary to the verb phrase. As a result, this second version was easier for my students because there were more words they recognized.
Spanish Sentence Building PDFs
Get the sentence building activities using the links below or by clicking on the images in the post above.
Of course, the most important thing beginning readers can do to develop language skills is read. They need to read lots of language in context to absorb vocabulary and structure. We do have fun with activities like this one, but nothing beats a good story!